Donkey Bay Inn

Expect the unexpected at this boutique Bay of Islands bolthole, which channels Alice in Wonderland with its ethereal, quirky décor from room to room.

Enter through a secret, yellow tunnel which leads to a garden oasis, then step into the jewel-tone lobby lounge complete with a library, wood-beamed ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows bestowing views of the sea.

Just four rooms make up the accommodation here, each as unique, eye-popping and well-equipped as the next, and there’s also a bar with an outdoor deck to take in the sunsets each evening.

After tucking into a delicious breakfast at Donkey Bay Inn, why not walk down to either of two beaches below (one of which is a naturists’ favourite!) for a spot of sunbathing?

You can also enjoy strolling through the gorgeous gardens, looking out to sea while sampling some of the hotel owner’s wine; Antonio, as well as possessing the entire peninsula here, also has a private wine estate.

Finish off your day with a soak in one of the outdoor bathtubs, before drinks in the bar or on the bay-facing terrace, followed by dinner in Russell at one of the fine restaurants in town.


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There are only four, individually designed guestrooms at Donkey Bay Inn, each with its own artistic flair and luxury amenities. Whether an expansive terrace, balcony or patio, every room has an outdoor space for moments spent al fresco, gazing out to sea; while indoors – ‘characterful’ does not do any of them justice! Bespoke furnishings, eclectic colour schemes, art installations, a clever use of light and space plus plenty of relaxation areas combine here. Expect to find kimono robes, a comfy bed, spacious en suite and Wi-Fi in any of the rooms or suites too.

Activities and Entertainment

Donkey Bay Inn is the sort of hotel that coaxes you into blissful relaxation, with that ever-stunning view of the sea for company. Read a book from the library, sit out with a glass of wine on the terrace, or take a wander through the gardens down to one of two gorgeous beaches. Then, why not wander into the town of Russell nearby to experience its delightful restaurants, stroll along the waterfront and admire rows of historic buildings, or perhaps take a boat tour to see marine life and drink in the view as you do?


Donkey Bay Inn has his’n’her’s bathtubs set outside (overlooking the bay), for a spot of pampering al fresco, while indoors you’ll find a library brimming with books to browse during quiet afternoons. Other ways to unwind include sitting out on the olive tree-shaded terrace with a glass of Antonio’s wine, or heading down to the beach for a spot of sunbathing.


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